When I was a kid, and bought dictionnaries for school, the first thing I did was to look up four letter words, to check that they actually were there, and what they meant.
Internet is, after all, a humongous dictionnary, and now you can look up as many four letter words as you want. And, since you can look within
books in Amazon.com
, well, why not try it.
First try: the most famous four letter word
. It returns 11624 results. Not too bad. Try now sleep
. Six times as much.
I am not sure what that means. The most straighforward interpretation is that people write six times as much about sleeping than about fucking. Not the idea I had about literature, to be sure. "And then we went to sleep" is much weaker, literarywise, than "...And then we had a good fuck". I'm not sure, either, that people actually sleep six times as much as they make love.
Next step might be to program a "literary mindshare tool", à la Google Share
. Anybody up for it?